In episode 2 of Marvel series What If…? on Disney Plus, fans will be introduced to Chadwick Boseman’s Star-Lord verison of T’Challa, the last time he portrayed the character in the MCU after garnering acclaim as Black Panther.
It has emerged that before Chadwick’s death in August 2020, there were discussions among the creators of the show to develop spin-offs of the alternative Star-Lord character.
The premise of What If…?, which is based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name, is imagining what would have happened if events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had happened differently.
For example, if Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) had become the superpowered Captain Carter, replacing Steve Rogers (Josh Keaton) as Captain America, or if T’Challa had been abducted by the Ravagers, rather than Peter Quill as depicted in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ahead of episode two, the creators of What If…? spoke about Chadwick’s reprisal of the character in the animated series, with head writer AC Bradley telling Entertainment Weekly that the actor would pass on ‘smart’, ‘articulate’ and ‘brilliant’ notes after reading the scripts.
Director Bryan Andrews added that they ‘were already thinking of finding a way to do spin-offs and stuff like that of him and his crew to have these wonderful adventures’.
The reason for this exploration, Bryan explained, was because while ‘the character was so different, you can keep some of the virtue and some of the integrity and all the other important aspects of T’Challa as we know him, Black Panther, without necessarily the pressure of the kingdom Wakanda’.
AC outlined how hard Chadwick worked to ensure he ‘had the accent right’ in the series, because he was aware that ‘there’s going to be kids watching this’.
‘It was super important to him to make sure T’Challa is always presented as a role model and a hero. And luckily we were all on the same page,’ she said.
During a recent interview with Metro.co.uk, executive producer Brad Winderbaum revealed that a ‘fantastic’ episode had to be cut from What If…?.
While he was bummed to remove the instalment, Brad added that it will show up in season two, which has already been confirmed.
New episodes of What If…? are released on Disney Plus on Wednesdays.
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